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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Prediction of Runoff and Erosion from Natural Rainfall Using a Rainfall Simulator1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 5, p. 827-830
    Received: Mar 1, 1972
    Accepted: May 12, 1972

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  1. R. A. Young and
  2. R. E. Burwell2



Field rainfall simulators have been used extensively for runoff and erosion studies. To more accurately interpret and apply the results of studies using simulated rainfall, it is necessary to know the relative effects of natural vs. simulated rainfall.

A comparison was made of the soil and water losses from three natural storms and three simulated storms on cultivated fallow plots under similar rainfall and soil conditions. A rainulator was used to apply the simulated storms. Soil losses from the three simulated storms averaged 77% of those from the natural rainstorms. This compares closely, considering that the average EI value for the simulated storms was 78% of that for natural rainstorms. The runoff from the simulated storms compared quite closely to runoff from the natural storms.

The study showed that, in general, the rainulator can be used to simulate rainfall for runoff and erosion research with confidence that the results will reflect the runoff and soil loss that would occur under similar conditions of natural rainfall.

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